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Proto-Illyrians appear on the Balkan with 13 - 12-th c. B. D. They participated in moving barbarous tribes of Europe to this epoch. In period Halstadt Proto-Illyrians occupied extensive territories in the Central and Southern Europe. At the end of 6-th centuries B. D. Formation of Illyria was finished and it has left on historical arena. There is an allocation of aristocracy from which time of domination there were richly decorated tombs. Cultural influence the Celts were weak, except for the Central Europe which those have Illyrians showed respect for such sanctuaries of Greece, as Ther in Thessaly, the oracle in Epirus etc. In 4-th c. B. D. in Dalmatia (present Dubrovnik - Croatia) it was formed Illyrian empire. Thanks to the union with Thrace and Athenes against Macedonian Phillip aggression the Illyria have kept it independence. In 3-th c. B. D. the Illyrians having taken advantage of interstine wars Hellenistic the states and sharp easing of Epirus. Illyrians, who had significant fleet, have occupied the most part of Epirus, however their successes have inspired fear to Rome. The Romans have broken Illyrian armies and occupied the Adriatic coast. The power of Illyria has finished. Full connection of the country to Rome was achieved to 23 B. D.

But the peak of Illyrian glory was ahead. Despite of romanisation, they kept the certain consciousness inside empire. In 3-th A. D., during great civil wars Illyrians have ratified on the Roman throne a series of the emperors who have received the name " Illyrian ones". Their most known representative was Diocletian. At this time in Illyria it was ratified mithraism, the global religion which has missed nowadays of the Iranian origin (the reasons of success of Mithraism, probably, are covered in similarity between it and ancient Illyrian mythologies). The ideology Illyrian emperors appeared in the conflict to belief of Christians and as both those and others represented unique active groups in conditions of perishing empire (German nevertheless external force) struggle was severe. As skeleton of the Roman army was completed from Illyrians, they destroyed in conditions of incessant civil wars and revolutions. The modern Albanians are descendants of the Illyrians.

Position with safety Illyrian mythology is even worse than with Thracian one. Texts are not present, and the fine arts are poor enough (probably, it developed in a tree). However interest is represented with displays mithraism, blossomed in Illyria to the Roman epoch in which, probably, it was reflected and an authocthonic mythological layer.


Alex Fantalov


The Scytho-Sarmatians history.



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